Juan Carlos Elizarraraz, an aspiring teacher and an aide at two public schools in Santa Paula, died at his Santa Paula home Saturday from complications of lung cancer. He was 27.
Elizarraraz was born March 17, 1973, to Manuel and Otilia Elizarraraz in Mexico City. The family moved to Ventura County in 1978.
He graduated from Santa Paula High School in 1991, where he played on the varsity soccer team. He attended Cal State Los Angeles on a soccer scholarship, graduating in 1997 with a degree in physical education.
He had been studying for the C-BEST, the state's teacher-qualifying test, and was working toward his teacher's credentials by serving as an aide at McKevett Elementary School and Santa Paula High School.